I have caught the bouquet four times in my lifetime. The first time was at my sister’s old piano teacher’s wedding. I was a little young at the time I will be the first to admit. And maybe we should all just acknowledge what we are really thinking when the young one catches the bouquet… it may be along the lines of: if she is getting married first we might as well all give up because she still has ten more years before it’s even legal! I remember the event pretty well. A big white bouquet came flying through the air and I had the lucky catch. Lucky me. Or so I thought. Until a much older woman who was also vying for the prize rushed up, muttering something about the bride wanting her flowers back, she snatched that bouquet then proceeded to gleefully carry it around all night. The bride must not have wanted them too badly because that woman definitely left with that bouquet.
The second time was at my cousin Jaclyn’s wedding. I was a bridesmaid, and as soon as I heard the DJ call for all the single ladies I rushed out there. I have always thought of the bouquet toss as kind of a fun challenge, or maybe I am just competitive, but note to self: you can only be competitive when you have OTHER people to compete against. Let me tell you how embarrassing it is to be the only single person at a wedding that has OVER 200 guests. Oh my lord if there is one moment that I could erase from my memory it would be that one. Standing alone, as single as single can be, in the middle of the dance floor looking around praying for just one more woman without a big, fat MRS slapped on her engraved place card. Finally another single woman rolled out of the crowd, the flower girl. And literally she was like twelve. And I am taller. So yes I caught the bouquet and looked like a big, single jerk who didn’t let the cute little flower girl catch it. I did try to give it to her, but apparently nobody wants a pity bouquet. Believe me I didn’t either. I walked off that dance floor and just about died.The third time was at my friend Rhyan’s wedding. If you think the third time is the charm it definitely was not. I hadn’t learned my lesson apparently, so I was out there on the dance floor with all the other eager singles. Actually, I had kind-of learned my lesson… my friends literally had to drag my butt out there. The two bouquet debacles before had not yet been forgotten, but with a little convincing I got out there and I held my head and my hands high. Believe it or not, those flowers flew right to me. I clutched them in my hands for a few seconds of amazement, then in a quick flash one of Rhyan’s friends grabbed it right out of my hands, squealing like nobody’s business, jumping up and down like she had just won the love lottery. My friends get a big kick out of teasing me about that one, because the camera man actually got pictures of me catching it, and her running over and snatching it right up. It’s a vicious, vicious world out there people.The fourth and final time was just recently, at my best friend’s wedding. I was a bridesmaid again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if lauren hadn’t thrown it in my direction on purpose. But this time, I was determined to catch that thing and hold on for dear life. Nobody would steal my glory this time around. Those flowers flew up into the air and so did I. It was like the Super Bowl all over again as I leapt up and grabbed that thing right out of the air. I got flower bombed. The whole thing disintegrated right in my hand. I had a clutch of leaves in one hand and a single, dangling, broken rose in the other. The groom’s mother ran up yelling, “that’s a bad sign! That’s a bad sign!” I will say that I almost used my single, long stemmed, dilapidated rose to bop her right on the head.
I think love is a lot like the bouquet toss. You put yourself out there time and time again, hopefully waiting for it to be your turn. Waiting to catch something real – something substantial. Many times all you get is a hand full of thorns. Just as often you will think you have caught something real and it will fall right apart in your hands. And there may be times when someone else comes along and takes what you believe is yours. I have been through all three scenarios, both in life and the bouquet toss, and let me tell you it wasn’t yours to begin with if someone else had the ability to take it. Real love can’t just be snatched away. One thing I know for sure is that there will come a day, after all those crappy catches in the past fade away, when it will be your turn. You will put yourself out there for the millionth time, and finally make the perfect catch. As for me.. I am staying as far away from the bouquet toss as humanly possible. I would undoubtedly, unintentionally set the next one on fire.